What They Are Saying: Americans Urge Action to Lower Drug Prices, Hold Big Pharma Accountable

Aug 29, 2019

Voices From Around the Country Call for Congress to Pass Senate Finance Package

Americans across the country are urging Congress to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices by passing The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act Of 2019. This bipartisan, market-based legislative package marks an important first step towards tackling the crisis of high and rising prescription drug prices. The American people are demanding action and this measure, which has already advanced out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance with bipartisan support, should be swiftly brought to the Senate floor for a vote by the full chamber following the August recess.

Here are a few examples of what Americans are saying about The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act Of 2019:

Dr. Steve Ferrara, Former Chief Medical Officer for the U.S. Navy (Arizona Capitol Times):

… When I was Chief Medical Officer of the Navy, I helped direct one of the country’s largest health care systems … We faced and tackled unique challenges in the most difficult environments and still were always able to complete the mission.  If we could complete our mission under those circumstances, then Congress has absolutely no excuse to deliver on its commitment to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices, amid this crisis of affordability.
… Fortunately, there is legislation being considered before the U.S. Senate right now that would hold Big Pharma accountable and take several positive first steps to lower prescription drug prices. The bill, The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019, has already advanced through a key Senate panel with broad bipartisan support … I respectfully encourage U.S. Sens. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema to join their colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, in endorsing this legislation and working to ensure it passes on the Senate floor in the coming months.
There is unprecedented momentum to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices for patients.  Our lawmakers need to capitalize on this moment and complete their mission. 

 Bob Murphy, Colorado AARP State Director (My Prime Time News)

For decades, Big Pharma has raised drug prices with impunity.  Here in Colorado, the average annual cost of brand name prescription drug treatment increased 58% between 2012 and 2017, while the annual income for Nevada increased only 12.2%.  Prescription drugs don’t work if patients can’t afford them.

We urge the Senate to pass the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act in the fall, when the House is expected to act on its own drug-pricing bill.

Too much is at stake. Coloradans shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and buying a lifesaving medication. Congress must act to stop Rx greed.

Dr. Bill Cohen, President of the American Pain Relief Institute (Sioux City Journal)

As a physician, I have seen the impact of rising prescription drug prices first hand.  Patients grappling with the heart-wrenching choice of whether to buy food and pay their rent or fill the prescriptions they need … Sen. Grassley has recognized the seriousness of this issue and led a bipartisan effort to advance the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act through the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.  The legislation would cap seniors’ out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, and as important, hold the prescription drug industry accountable by boosting transparency and disincentivizing price gouging.
We cannot afford to miss this moment to change the course on rising prescription drug prices …  Iowans should contact Sen. Ernst and urge her to get on board with this legislation on behalf of our families.

Cameron West (CentralMaine.com):

Patients across Maine are grappling with the high prices of prescription drugs.  While patients are going to extreme measures to pay for their medication, drug companies have raised prices on almost 3,500 drugs in the first six months of the year.  It’s time for Congress to take action.
Lawmakers have a prime opportunity to hold Big Pharma accountable by passing The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019.  This bipartisan Senate Finance package, which has already passed out of committee with support from both sides of the aisle, will keep prices in line with inflation, boost transparency, increase competition through greater use of biosimilars and reform Medicare Part D by capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors.
… Maine taxpayers, patients and seniors are counting on Washington to act to lower drug prices and hold Big Pharma accountable.  When they return from their August recess, lawmakers must go to work to ensure legislation like the Senate Finance package is swiftly passed into law.

The Gazette Editorial Board (Cedar Rapids Gazette):

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley recently offered what has become a rarity in American politics — big, bipartisan legislation to address a problem everyone agrees is real.  The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act — sponsored by Grassley and his Democratic counterpart on the Senate Finance Committee, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden — would impose a limit on out-of-pocket costs for millions of Medicare and Medicaid patients.  Government analysts predict that would save taxpayers $85 billion and save beneficiaries $27 billion over 10 years.
… Americans consistently rank health care costs among their top concerns in public opinion polls, and prescriptions make up a significant share of that spending.  The Grassley-Wyden bill is the product of months of bipartisan discussions in the Senate, and we believe it’s a reasonable first step toward addressing an urgent problem.